A new rumor indicates that Disney plans to reboot the Die Hard franchise with a young John McClane.
The rumor comes from We Got This Covered, who indicate “the team heading up this new project will be resetting the clock on the series.” They also indicate that this new reboot “will still focus on a younger McClane but it’ll be an entirely new project.”
They don’t provide any other details other than that. Given this report, it appears Bruce Willis might not be attached to this new project. Willis has been the face of the Die Hard franchise since the first film debuted back in July of 1988.
The report makes me think that Disney might be trying to reimagine the Die Hard franchise similar to the James Bond franchise, allowing different actors to take on the role of John McClane similar to Bond. It’s a bold strategy, one that Hollywood doesn’t seem too keen on repeating. Usually rebooted franchises will attempt to introduce new characters with the older character acting as a sort of mentor. We’ve seen this play out heavily in Disney’s Star Wars franchise. It also appears to be the centerpiece in the upcoming Terminator film with both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton reprising their roles and acting as guides or mentors to the new characters.
In fact, the Die Hard franchise tried to do the mentor act in the latest film, A Good Day to Die Hard. The film saw Willis’ McClane team up with his son who happens to be a CIA agent. It didn’t work out too well at the box office. The film only brought in $67.3 million at the domestic box office and $304.6 million total. In fact, A Good Day to Die Hard is the worst performing Die Hard film at the domestic box office. And it gets even uglier if you adjust for inflation. It was a good $100 million behind Live Free or Die Hard, the 2007 Die Hard sequel and fourth film in the franchise.
This rumor comes off reports that Len Wiseman’s McClane film is in limbo after the Disney and Fox merger. Producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura told Slash Film the film did not have a start date and Disney executives were still mulling the project over.
“I wish, not yet. I don’t know what’s going to happen there. It’s really up to them because obviously now they’re owned by Disney. My sense is that we won’t know much about it for a while while they debate whatever they’re debating. I don’t know enough about their plans really to have any point of view. They like our script.”
The film, from writers Carey W. Hayes and Chad Hayes, was expected to follow Bruce Willis as a 60-year-old McClane, but also simultaneously showcase his adventures as a young 20-something. It’s possible it could be similar to The Godfather 2 as you follow the characters in both the past and the present.
Are you interested in Disney rebooting the Die Hard franchise? Would you watch Die Hard without Bruce Willis?